Protect and Preserve

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“Being a bowhunter, I knew it was time to get more involved and support true conservation-focused organizations. Influencing change is a lot easier being a Bowhunters United member.”

– Anthony Federico, Virginia — Member since 2020


Bowhunters United protects our right to hunt. Members share their voice in support of hunting’s future helping BU preserve and strengthen our sport – for them and future generations.


We encourage bowhunters to voice their stance on industry issues by utilizing our Action Alert System. With a few simple clicks, members can forward a message to their local senators and/or representatives letting them know where they stand. This is powerful grassroots advocacy, and we have strength in numbers.


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National Issues


FET Tax Slippage: Unfair Advantage and Lost Dollars for U.S. Hunting, Conservation, and Archery Manufactures


Federal Excise Tax Issues Slippage

Millions of federal excise tax dollars are being lost to foreign suppliers who sell “direct to U.S. consumers,” and avoid paying the excise tax US based manufacturers pay in support of hunting and conservation funding.
What is Federal Excise Tax (FET)?

A 10- to 11-percent tax manufacturers pay on the first sale of firearms, ammunition and some archery equipment established by the Pittman-Robertson Act.

What is FET Slippage?

Federal excise tax avoidance

In short, millions of federal excise tax dollars are being lost each year when foreign manufacturers sell products “direct to U.S. consumers” mainly through the internet. Over 55 conservation organizations have joined together to notify the Senate and House to take corrective action against this unfair practice. They hope to see legislative action within the next year.


Although this is a tax, bowhunters, conservation efforts, and wildlife DIRECTLY benefit from those tax dollars. All of the FET revenue is collected by the IRS, then sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where it is distributed to EACH state wildlife agency.

FET dollars are applied to:

  • Habitat Restoration
  • Hunter Education
  • Wildlife Research
  • Public-access Programs
  • High-Priority Nationwide Conservation Projects

This tax directly benefits bowhunters by ensuring they have places to hunt and animals to pursue.



State Issues


Alienation of 100,000 Bowhunters: Keep “Airbows” Out of Oklahoma Archery Season!

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Oklahoma Airbow Inclusion Bill

Legislation is moving swiftly through the Oklahoma government that would allow arrow-shooting airguns to be used during archery season. These devices lack the basic components of standard archery equipment and their inclusion into archery seasons would alienate the rights of over 100,000 bowhunters across the state. Join us by asking your Oklahoma State Senator and State Representative to VOTE NO on legislation that would authorize the use of airguns in the archery season.  


Bowhunters United and the Archery Trade Association’s position on arrow-shooting airguns — often inappropriately referred to as “airbows” — is that they lack the basic components of standard archery equipment like a string system and limbs and should therefore not be authorized for use during archery hunting seasons. The Airgun Sporting Association, which is the trade association for the airgun industry, agrees! ASA’s “Guidelines for State Wildlife Agency Regulations” clearly conveys that “arrow shooting airguns should not be considered ‘archery’ equipment.”  These sentiments prevail among related industries, constituencies, state legislatures all across the U.S., and even on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Sportsman Foundation. 

Just by purchasing archery products, bowhunters have contributed well over 1 billion dollars in federal excise taxes since 1973 through the Pittman-Robertson Fund. Last year alone, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife received over $27 million from this fund to conduct critical wildlife activities across the state. Unlike bows and firearms, airguns, including arrow-shooting airguns, are not included in the items taxed under the Pittman-Robertson Act and do not contribute to conservation funding. Your conservation funding is at risk!   

BU and the ATA are keenly interested in maintaining one of the strongest archery deer hunting constituencies in the country and we strongly oppose the effort to include airbows in Oklahoma’s traditional archery season. 

Please join BU, ATA, and other archery hunters across Oklahoma to stop ill-conceived legislation by asking your Oklahoma legislators to VOTE NO on all legislation seeking to admit the use of airguns during archery only seasons.   


BIG Moves for Maryland’s Conservation and Wildlife

Support the Bill


Maryland Conservation Funding Bill

A huge conservation funding and access bill has been presented in the state of Maryland. Senate Bill 327 and a cross-filed House Bill 983 would provide nearly $9 million annually in additional conservation funding that will go directly into conservation programs benefiting all Maryland hunters, anglers, outdoorsmen, and the DNR. 


SB 327 and HB983 are Maryland’s attempt at doubling down on conservation developmental improvements. The bill not only provides significant benefits in boosting conservation funding, it opens an expansion of opportunities for hunters, which will aid in the establishment of DNR programs and divisions for hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation. Additionally, the bill supports the continued repeal of outdated blue law restrictions preventing sportsmen and sportswomen from hunting on Sundays.  

Specific benefits the bill would have on Maryland hunters and wildlife include:  

  • Establishing a sika deer stamp to hunt sika deer. 
  • Removing the prohibition against hunting waterfowl on Sundays. 
  • Establishing the “Wildlife Conservation, Education, and Outreach Program” to provide outdoor recreation, hunting and wildlife conservation education to underserved communities. 
  • Allowing nonresident students attending a college or university in Maryland to obtain a hunting license at the resident rate. 
  • Increasing the price of the resident and nonresident hunting licenses by a few dollars. 

Are you a Marylander? Show your support for Maryland wildlife and conservation by contacting your representatives today.  


Right to Hunt: Iowa and Florida Fight for Constitutional Amendments


Iowa and Florida Bill Amendments for Conservation

Two states have introduced bills to affirm the rights of residents to hunt, fish, and trap wildlife. Iowa and Florida legislatures are proposing constitutional amendments to support the right to hunt, fish, and trap within their respective states. Amendments would not limit or reduce the wildlife agency’s management authority and would continue to support science-based decisions for its citizens.

Twenty-three states across the U.S. have already actively challenged legislation to protect their rights to hunt, fish, and trap. Inspired by these same values, Iowa and Florida are sending a series of bills aimed to grant the highest level of protection to our hunting heritage and traditions.  




As HJR 6 and SJR 12 pass through the House and Senate, Iowa voters will have the final opportunity to approve the amendments once they pass.

About the Bills

Public hunting, fishing, trapping, and harvesting of wildlife shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. 

Reasonable laws will be enacted by the general assembly and reasonable rules adopted by the natural resources commission that promote wildlife conservation and management to preserve the future of hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife. 




Two bills have been introduced to the House and Senate legislation table, HJR 1157 and SJR 1234.  

About the Bill

Hunting and fishing shall be preserved in perpetuity as a public right.  

The Big Picture  

As other states see the actions of passing amendments to protect the right to hunt, fish, and trap, Bowhunters United is creating a defensive barrier to anti-hunters and animal activists who persist in taking those rights away. Strategically, as more states gain the highest levels of protection for our right to hunt, we have the opportunity to focus our efforts to helping MORE states gain those same rights.  

If you are in either Iowa or Florida, contact your representatives today to show support for these bills. 


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